Attending the Criminological Seminar (CS) Wednesday sessions is an important part of the doctoral training. The seminar serves two purposes. First, it provides support for the research of the doctoral students. Second, it provides a possibility for learning and improving scientific presentation and argumentation skills. Regular participation in the seminar is therefore vital for successful training as a researcher. Additionally, the seminar helps to integrate students into the criminological research and policy community.

In addition to presenting one’s own research, it is essential to attend the sessions as well as to read and discuss the papers of the other participants. This helps you understand the decisions related to methodology and research settings, as well as to learn the important skills of scientific presentation, discussion and argumentation. Attendance and discussion in the seminar also helps you to be informed of the contemporary empirical research and the theoretical developments in criminology.

Registration. For students enrolled in the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences, registering for the CS in Sisu is compulsory (codes SOST-9231, SOST-9232, SOST-9233). For others, registration is recommended. Course credits are available only for registered students.

Presentations. Papers presented in the seminar are research plans, article manuscripts or thesis summaries. Typically, the first presentation is a research plan. As the project advances, the student will present article drafts and finally the draft thesis summaries. The students will send their seminar paper to the CS coordinator one week prior to the day of presentation. The coordinator will then distribute the paper to the seminar participants.

In addition to scientific feedback, the seminars allow you to practice delivering scientific presentations and giving constructive feedback to others. A presentation lasts max. 30 minutes, addressing the contents and problems of the seminar paper. The presentation can be either in English or Finnish, and preferably accompanied by a slideshow. Attention is given to the quality of the presentations, including the clarity of slides. At the beginning of each presentation, the presenter should briefly remind the audience about the overall research plan and its current stage.

Commenting. After oral presentations, there will be time for comments and discussion. In regular sessions, a student commentator is appointed for each paper. Commentator should prepare their comments in advance and be ready to discuss the scientific weaknesses and merits of the presentation for about 10-15 minutes, after which there is open discussion. The aim of the comments and discussion is to focus on major questions instead of details and minor mistakes. No written output is required from the commentator.

Study credits. Registration as a participant allows you to receive course credits. Presenting a paper counts as 1 credit, acting as a commentator 0.5 credits and attending 0.25 credits. When you have accumulated 5 credits with at least 2 paper presentations and 2 commentator roles, you can register 5 course credits. The course credit composition can be altered with the permission of the thesis supervisor and the seminar responsible teacher.

Additional events. Some of the CS sessions feature guest presentations and lectures.